A Christmas Surprise In August

I spent several days this past week sorting through my Dad’s office.  He told me once, “When I’m gone I hope you’ll rearrange the office and make it your own to use when you’re here.”  I have done just that.  I sat at his desk and there was everything as he had left it before he went to heaven.  I smiled as I saw his harmonica to one side.  It was not unusual to walk by his office and hear him playing.  There was a file on his desk with quotes.  I knew he was a great admirer of Abraham Lincoln so it was no surprise to see a quote by Lincoln on the very top.  My Dad actually had this particular quote printed out and pinned to the wall near his desk.  The quote reads:

“I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”

My Dad often commented on our early presidents and how they openly prayed and publicly announced they were looking to God for guidance.  He was saddened that the power of prayer has increasingly ceased to be acknowledged from the White House in recent years.  He prayed for America everyday.  This leads on to the next quote I found in his file, this one by Chuck Colson.

“Our nation is in (economic) crises precisely because we’ve traded in a Christian worldview of work, thrift, savings, and prudence, and instead have embraced the false worldview of consumerism – of leisure, debt, and instant gratification…….We have betrayed not only our God but the nation we love.  I want to put it in the plainest terms I know how: This nation cannot be saved unless the Church is first revived.  Renewing the Church is the key to saving America.”

My Dad and I often discussed politics and world events in the light of Scripture and Biblical Prophecy.  We were at times saddened to see our nation coming to ruin, and excited at the same time to see Scripture unfolding before our eyes.  We often repeated together the words of Revelation 22:20,”Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.”  It’s very exciting to know the reality that Dad is right now in heaven, he has looked upon the face of Jesus, he is enjoying all the wonders there that we can only imagine until the time comes for all of us who know Jesus to see Him for ourselves when we too leave this earth.  Sometimes I feel I can hardly wait.

In the light of the return of Christ, we often talked of those we love who don’t yet know Him.  Of course, we often talked about Kyrgyzstan and the many there who still don’t know the truth of Jesus. How thankful we both were that Father had it in His plan for us to play a part in sharing the Good News of Jesus in Central Asia.

I dusted his desk, replaced pens that were strewn about, shifted books from one shelf to another, making it all my own.  Most of the time I was smiling throughout.  It was indeed a joyful endeavor.  Only once did tears come to my eyes when I found a Christmas card that he had bought for me.  He had been in the hospital during Christmas holidays so understandably he no doubt forgot to give me the card.  I opened it and the tears came as I read the words, “I remember always the little girl you were and am delighted in the woman you have become. ”  I shared my discovery with a friend via email and she wrote back to me, “How nice to get a card now, when you thought you would never get another one!”  I thought, “Wow, that’s right!  I never dreamed to get a card from my Dad or anything else from him ever again.”  It was Christmas in August for me.  As I  continued to sort I continued to find a treasure of things he left.

There were his Scripture memory cards he always kept in his pocket.  Often he would take them out to test himself.  He was always memorizing God’s Word.  There too was his Greek and Hebrew Bible.  My Dad avidly studied Greek and Hebrew so he could better interpret the meaning of God’s Word.  Near his music center was a stack of his favorite CD’s.  He enjoyed a variety of music.  Everywhere I looked, I was reminded of him and reminded of his deep love of God, family, church, and country.

As I sat in his chair the thought came to me, if I were to leave this earth today, what would people find in my files?  What notes and quotes would be found?  What would someone know about me by the books I read, the CD’s I listen to, the films I watch?   My Dad was always a great example to me by the way he lived and now he is still an example to me by the things he has left behind.